Phoenix Auto Repair

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Understanding Your Service Reminder Light

Understanding Your Service Reminder Light

Most of us don’t read the owner’s manual, if you even have one anymore. Many car manuals can only be found online now. Carmakers have come up with service reminders in the form of a warning indicator light, that appears on the gauge cluster (near the speedometer). Often, it comes on well before the service is required to give you time to schedule the appointment. There are several types of warning systems: Set mileage system. The light comes on every time you have driven a set number of miles and an oil change is needed. This varies among different carmakers, but it is roughly every 5,000 miles. In some systems, you can set the interval yourself. Oil sensor system. An onboard computer analyzes how the car is being driven, and the light comes on when an oil change is required. Driving only short trips will trigger the light sooner; highway driving means you can go many more miles between service visits. Oil Level or Low System ... read more

How Often Should I Have My Car Serviced?

How Often Should I Have My Car Serviced?

I know in this day and age it is sometimes difficult to remember those certain appointments…like going to the dentist or the doctor every six months…or having your vehicle serviced at least twice a year! You can ignore it until suddenly you aren’t feeling your best, or you experience a toothache, or your car breakdowns! Here is what your car’s owner manual tells you should happen and how often. We recommend you visit us every six months to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape! Your owner’s manual states that every time you stop for fuel you need to: Check engine oil level and add as required. Check windshield washer solvent and add if required. Once a month you are supposed to: Check tire pressure and look for unusual wear or damage Inspect battery and clean and tighten terminals as required. Check fluid levels of coolant reservoir, power steering, brake master cylinder, and transmission and add as needed Check ... read more

The Sound of Silence Can be Golden

The Sound of Silence Can be Golden

The job of a muffler is to keep your vehicle quiet. There is a lot involved for a piece of equipment that doesn’t look too intricate. It silences the noise of your car in these ways: Changes the pressure pulses Dampens the pressure pulses Absorbs the pressure pulses The noise is measured in decibels and the muffler dissipates the level of sound. There are two types of mufflers; direct-fit or universal. A direct-fit muffler doesn’t require modifications. A repair shop just has to line it up and bolt it on. They are, however, not readily available for all vehicles. A universal muffler is easy to find and usually requires some modifications. This is done by lengthening or shortening pipes or even replacing them. New hangers are a must to keep the new equipment from rattling. Thankfully these modifications are not difficult or expensive; they just take more time. If you are replacing a direct-fit muffler with a universal muffler, don’t expect it to muffle the ... read more

October is Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month

Twice a year the Car Care Council, a non-profit organization, celebrates National Car Care Month. This happens in April and again in October. The reason they feel the need to spend money on advertising the importance of car care is because so many consumers don’t take care of their vehicles properly. Neglect of this kind causes accidents, expensive breakdowns, pollution, using more fuel than necessary and even lost time at work! The Car Care Council hopes a gentle reminder twice yearly will prevent all this. Here is a check list for safety, dependability and savings! Have all fluids checked Have air filter checked Have battery and charging system checked Have belts and hoses checked Have oil and lubrication service Have all lights checked Have all wipers and fluid checked Have tires checked for proper inflation and tread Have suspension system checked Have brake system checked Many consumers feel a false sense of security today because they have cell phones or On ... read more

Why Won’t Your Car Start?

Why Won’t Your Car Start?

Car problems of any kind can be frustrating but the one that seems to annoy people the most is when their car won’t start. There are several possible reasons your car won’t start but the number one reason is a battery issue. If you try to start your car and you don’t hear a noise we call that a “no crank” and this could be caused by one of three things; the battery, the ignition or the starter circuit. The two main reasons for shortened battery life are; Excessive heat - Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. Overcharging - A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, resulting in a slow battery death. To get the most out of your battery: Have your battery and its connections checked at every oil change Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. A ... read more

Brake System Components Overview

Brake System Components Overview

These are the brake system components that work together to make sure you can stop your car! This is just a brief overview of what each component’s job is. Brake pads and shoes – Friction works to slow your vehicle down and this takes place in the pads and shoes when they are forced against a rotor or drum. Due to this friction, they wear out and need to be replaced before you get to “metal on metal”. Brake rotors and drums – These are attached to the wheels of your car and again, help create the necessary friction needed to stop a vehicle. Brake calipers (disc) – These are clamps, and using hydraulics, they move their pistons out, increasing the fluid pressure. This makes the pad contact the rotor’s surface and this in turn causes your vehicle to stop or slow down as needed. Brake fluid – Fluid is a very important ingredient in your vehicle and without it, your ve ... read more

What is Repairophobia?

What is Repairophobia?

What is repairophobia, you ask? It is the fear of auto repair. I read this term just the other day and said to myself, “Yes, it is about time it had a name!” What are the reasons consumers have this dreaded condition? Many consumer news reporters love to feature a certain shop or auto repair chain routinely ripping drivers off. They go under cover and take a well-maintained vehicle into the shop and then share with the public the long list of repair items the shop claims are needed. This hurts all auto repair shops, not just the culprit who apparently can’t earn enough money being honest. The majority of auto repair shops are honest, hard working individuals. The con artists are few and far between. Consumers are worried that they won’t have enough money if they take their vehicle in for routine maintenance and the service advisor informs them they need a repair as well. They hadn’t budgeted for more than the routine service. Always ask for a pr ... read more

That Crazy Check Engine Light

That Crazy Check Engine Light

Most of us have probably had this happen at one time or another. You’re driving down the road and suddenly your check engine light comes on. As you’re worrying about what the problem could be and if your vehicle is still safe to drive, the light turns off. Relieved, you keep on driving and tell yourself that you’ll have it checked out. But, of course, the matter is quickly forgotten. You don’t remember about it until you’re out driving a few days later and the same thing happens all over again. So, is there a problem with the engine or with the light? Engine sensors measure a variety of areas that help reduce emissions and serve functions for the engine, transmission and other systems. The areas they measure include manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold absolute pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen levels. The light will turn on if a measurement stays outside the normal range long enough. This doesn&rsq ... read more

Auto Repair Estimate

Auto Repair Estimate

Today automotive service and repair shops are getting more calls than ever asking for an estimate and we at Fairway Auto Repair are no exception. We understand that consumers in Phoenix are searching for the best value for their hard earned dollars. It has been a while since I addressed this issue but many are asking exactly how we, and other auto repair shops arrive at the estimated price so I thought I would take a moment and explain this again. An estimate consists of three parts: The labor rate Parts and supplies Overhead Fairway Auto Repair and other automotive service and repair shops estimate the labor rate by how long any given service or repair should take. There are guidelines set down by the manufacturer of each vehicle estimating the time it takes a trained technician to perform any given task. Parts and supplies are included in the estimate, of course. We use two categories of parts, OEM or “Aftermarket.” The parts manufactured by the original car manufa ... read more

Is Your Automotive Shop Certified?

Is Your Automotive Shop Certified?

In a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop you use have certified technicians?” The vast majority said they assumed that they were. The shop you use may have certified people, but the reality is there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop. This is one part of our industry that I would like to see reviewed. A professional that cuts hair or fingernails is required to be state certified, but a mechanic who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training or any tools to do so. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At my shop, I require all staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well. ASE tests are all written tests and it does not necessarily mean a person is competent to work on a car. AAA Approved aut ... read more